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5 Reasons You’re Struggling To Attract The Perfect Candidate

By Amy @BubbleJobs

It’s a familiar scenario for many – you put together what you think is a great job advert, post it on a few boards and then wait for the perfect candidate to apply… and wait… and wait… but the perfect candidate never appears.

You can’t understand it; other similar jobs in the market are attracting great candidates so the issue can’t be a lack of candidates… which leads you to conclude that the problem must be your approach and your job advert.

Now, when it comes to job advertising, there’s lots of room for error – and unfortunately even a simple mistake can be enough to put a talented candidate off applying – particularly in the digital sector where (as you can see from our jobs board) jobs are plentiful right across the UK at the moment.

With that in mind; we thought it was time to shine the spotlight on some of the most common job advertising errors which can make the difference between attracting the perfect candidate and missing out.

1. The Job Advert Isn’t Exciting Enough:

When discussing job adverts with our clients, we always look at the content of the job and consider how appealing it sounds for a potential candidate… and a lot of the time, while the job in question might be pretty exciting, that’s just not portrayed in the advert itself. If you’re passionate about your company, your future plans and the role you’re recruiting for, let it show in the advert.

Think about your ideal candidate and what they’d want to see in an advert in order to convince them to apply. Be sure to include details of what’s on offer, the potential benefits and rewards for the right candidate and how this particular role might fit in with a candidate’s long-term career plans.

When you’re finished writing your advert, read it back and ask yourself if the advert fairly portrays your company and the job on offer… and most importantly, if the job actually sounds like something you might like to apply for if you had that particular skillset.

2. You’re Using The Wrong Advertising Platform:

Just like any other form of advertising, when it comes to advertising your job, it’s all about getting it in front of the right target audience so it’s extremely important to choose the right platform. If you’re looking for candidates in a particular industry area or with a particular skillset and you’ve chosen to advertise on a generic job board, it’s little wonder you’re not attracting the right candidate.

OK, so generic boards can perform but when it comes to a niche role, we’d always urge you to consider a more niche platform or job board which might be more engaged with the type of candidates you’re looking to attract. Think about it; if you’re advertising on a job board which purely advertises digital jobs and which has a reputation for advertising these types of jobs, chances are you’re going to end up attracting better, more qualified candidates who have visited that site with the specific aim of finding a new job in that particular sector.

3. There’s Not Enough Detail In The Advert:

If your advert is short, sweet and extremely vague it’s no wonder you’re not attracting your ideal candidate. Like we said in point one, the job advert needs to be exciting – and it also needs to be detailed! Be sure to include key information like salary (yes, really!), location, job responsibilities, company info and a few points on the type of candidate you’re looking for. Just to clarifiy; we’re not telling you to write an essay – but we are saying that details matter – so don’t leave them out!

4. The Salary Doesn’t Match Others In The Market:

No candidate wants to feel like they’re undervalued or underpaid – so if you’re trying to pay your new employee way below the average market rate, we’d urge to have a rethink. Yes, job satisfaction and a good working environment are extremely important – but at the end of the day, it’s salary that puts a roof over someone’s head and that will first appeal to a candidate when considering new job opportunities – so bear that in mind.

If you can’t raise the salary, be sure to emphasise how great the role is and what opportunities there are to progress within the business – in a bid to convince the candidate that while the salary might be lower than they’re looking for, the job is still a great option.

5. You’re Asking For Too Much:

If you’ve made all the changes above and you’re still not getting results, it might be time to ask yourself if you’re asking for too much in terms of skills and experience. Yes, there are candidates out there that might have everything you’re looking for – but if you’re asking for a lot, I imagine there aren’t that many out there… and there are probably even less that would be looking to work for your particular company in your particular location.

With that in mind; have another look at the role and ask yourself which skills/experience are the most important – and which ones are less vital – and consider reworking the ad to place the emphasis purely on these essential criteria points.


As we said earlier, there’s lots of room for error when it comes to advertising jobs – however, we hope that this post (along with all the others in our Employer Advice section) should help to act as good starting point when it comes to reviewing an under-performing job advert.

Think we’ve missed anything out? Or have a topic you’d like us to cover on this blog? Leave me a comment below.

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